Whether or not it’s making a hospital bed with sheets that don’t fit or helping assist someone with transfers, one of the hardest things in caring for someone is to try and put yourself into that persons shoes. It takes a lot of practice and it is sometimes a lot harder than the actual task itself.
Imagine going to the dentist to have a cavity filled. What the dentist is actually doing doesn’t hurt. What DOES hurt is your lips being pinched by the suction straw thing that he’s placed in your mouth. The dentist however, is focusing so hard on fixing the cavity he’s oblivious to your lips. In the same way we can be just as oblivious when we are helping roll someone over in bed. We need to first say what we are going to do and how we’re going to do it, being very mindful that their face is not buried in the pillow in the process. “Mary, do you want me to help you roll over on your side?” “Ok then, this is what we’re going to do, are you ready?” People are a lot easier to help when they know what’s going to happen. We need to always remember to involve them in the process. You might have someone who is unable to respond, in which case, going slow and a soft touch is vital.
If nothing else, telling them what you’re about to do will serve to remind YOU to stay tuned in as to how your actions are affecting them.